On December 11-12 the first international Forum on Match-Fixing took place in the FFU House of Football

On December 11 at the conference hall of the House of Football began its work the first international FFU Forum on Match-Fixing. The event was attended by representatives of FIFA, UEFA, FFU, Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, football associations of Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as employees of the National Police of Ukraine and the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine.

During the event, the participants of the forum discussed key mechanisms and tools for identifying and combating the organization of matches with a predetermined outcome. The football associations from different European countries shared their experience​​ and successful examples of cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

Pavlo Kubanov

«Fixed matches are the main threat to modern football, as they destroy the key idea and philosophy of this prestigious game — an honest sports struggle that attracts millions of fans around the world, so it is important that this Forum brings together experts who want to clear football from such a shameful phenomenon», — said FFU president Andrii Pavelko, opening the forum. «The FFU coalition against match-fixing brought together the best specialists of football, which helped law enforcement officers to conduct two large-scale special operations on detection and searches of suspects. We understand very well the fact that this is just the beginning of a long way in cleaning football from corruption that destroys it. However, we already have serious positive results», — said Andrii Pavelko.

Pavlo Kubanov

Graham Peaker, the UEFA Intelligence Coordinator, confirmed the seriousness of the problem of fixed matches on an international scale. «We are well aware that this problem is global. We are well aware that about 250 matches in domestic leagues during the season in different European countries are fixed. Therefore, it is fantastic initiative to invite your neighboring countries because it is a cross-border problem», — says Mr. Peaker.

Pavlo Kubanov

According to Stefanie Eichenberger, the FIFA Integrity Manager, fixed matches are a real problem for football, and this applies not only to Ukraine. «Match-fixing is a global problem. It is not only within one country. Such events are a great opportunity to strengthen the cooperation between the member associations and also between the other stakeholders such as the authorities, police, UEFA and FIFA. This is a good opportunity to exchange information, best practices and also engage in discussions on common problems that we all have or also specific problems when it comes to match-fixing», — said Ms. Eichenberger.

Pavlo Kubanov

During the forum, the representative of the National Police of Ukraine — Volodymyr Velychko, demonstrated two videos with recordings of conversations between the representatives of criminal groups, referees and football players. Mr. Velychko also described how in May this year the police conducted the first special operation against the organizers and participants of such matches. «This is the first criminal case in Ukraine in which we managed to gather a lot of evidence regarding the organizers of such matches, as well as the players, referees, directors and coaches of football clubs. We are continuing to work in this direction and I think we will present its results with the beginning of the New Year», — said the representative of the National Police.

Pavlo Kubanov

On December 12, at the end of the Forum, the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics and Fair Play Francesco Baranca thanked the participants and told about the importance of carrying out such events: «We are very grateful to our colleagues from UEFA and FIFA that supported our initiative. Our goal was to create a platform where integrity officers would meet and discuss the most topical issues of the fight against match-fixing and we believe that have achieved this goal. We are also very grateful to our friends from the European football association that responded and came to us. During two days, my colleagues from neighboring countries discussed the importance of odds monitoring in all competitions, the need to regulate the live data transmission during matches, the practical aspects of collection and submission of proofs for the sports proceedings, and representatives of the National Police of Ukraine and the Ministry Youth and Sports of Ukraine shared their experience of successful work and cooperation. Prior to this Forum, we felt the need for a frank conversation among specialists in this area and we are pleased that the Forum helped to the participants to receive answers to most of their exciting questions. In this regard, we plan to hold this Forum every year for the further development of international cooperation and the generation of best practices on this subject».

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